Washington Nationals at Mets Series Preview (9/2-9/4)

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Aug 29, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) watches his walk off solo home run against the Miami Marlins during the tenth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 29, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (52) watches his walk off solo home run against the Miami Marlins during the tenth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Aug 29, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Tanner Roark (57) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Tanner Roark (14-7, 2.87) vs. Robert Gsellman (1-1, 3.72) – 7:10 p.m, MASN2

Once again, Roark dominated the Phillies in his last start on August 29 and got the series off to a great start. He went seven innings, gave up four hits, struck out five, and walked one on 100 pitches to get his 14th win of the season. In that Phillies outing, Roark didn’t give up one extra-base hit.

Roark has gone 5-1 in his last seven starts and has given up more than three runs once over that span. In August, the 29-year-old right-hander had a 2.56 ERA in six starts and held opponents to a .234 batting average.

This season, Roark is 0-1 with a 0.96 ERA in two games against the Mets, but he was a reliever in one of those games. At Citi Field in his career, Roark is 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA in seven games (four starts). Curtis Granderson is 6-for-20 against Roark with four doubles and two RBI’s.

Tomorrow night, the Mets will hand the ball to Gsellman, who will be making his second career Major League start. His last start came on August 28 against the Phillies. He went six innings, gave up four runs on seven hits, struck out five, and walked one on 94 pitches in a loss.

Gsellman made his Major League debut against the Cardinals on August 23 when he came in out of the bullpen for an injured Jon Niese. At triple-A Las Vegas this season, the 23-year-old right-hander had a 5.73 ERA in nine starts (1-5 record).

In the minors this season, the most strikeouts Gsellman had in a game were eight. According to Fangraphs, he has an average velocity of 94 miles per hour on his fastball to go with a slider, breaking ball, and a changeup.

Prediction: For these last two games, the Washington Nationals lineup will need to adjust as the game goes on against pitchers they haven’t seen before. With Roark getting the start, I like the Washington Nationals to win the second game of this series.

 

Next: Sunday Night's Matchup

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